Friday, August 24, Vilnius
- During a solemn ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Monday, August 27 1:00 p.m., President Dalia Grybauskaitė will present the Grand Cross of the Order of the Cross of Vytis awarded posthumously to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin to his widow Naina Yeltsina.
The first President of Russia was conferred posthumously with a highest Lithuanian state decoration for his personal contribution to strengthening Lithuania’s statehood and exclusive merits in promoting interstate relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Federation.
Boris Yeltsin – a committed fighter for changes in Russia and outstanding supporter of democracy and freedom – was a staunch advocate of independence aspirations of the Baltic countries. During his presidency, in 1991 Lithuania and Russia signed the bilateral treaty on basic principles of interstate relations recognizing Lithuania as a sovereign state. Later on, a joint bilateral communiqué on the withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces from Lithuania and the bilateral treaty on the state border were signed in 1992 and 1997, respectively.
During January 13 events, Lithuania felt strong support of Boris Yeltsin who together with leaders of the three Baltic countries signed a joint statement recognizing independence of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia and condemning the use of military power.
The Grand Cross of the Order of the Cross of Vytis is awarded to the leaders and citizens of Lithuania and foreign countries for exceptional merits to the Lithuanian state.